Not just theatre geeks are getting a kick out of high school show choirs, thanks to Glee
First it was High School Musical. Now it's Glee giving a new generation a fresh appreciation for the pleasures of singing and dancing on stage.
Here's the opening of an article on the positive influence of Glee on some typical suburban high school students, from Saturday's Boston Globe (for the full article, click here):
Chino Lopez, a junior at Waltham High School, didn’t mean to join the school’s show choir, Music Unlimited. Two of his friends, who were members, dragged him along.
Still, he thought it would be smart to keep it to himself. “People would make fun of me, and I didn’t know what to say back,’’ said Lopez, 18. “They’d say, like, ‘It’s for gay people.’ ‘I wouldn’t do that.’ ’’
Around the middle of the year, though, things started to change. “Now they come up to me, and say, like, ‘I take it back,’ ’’ Lopez said.
Could this have anything to do with “Glee,’’ the Fox television series about an Ohio high school glee club full of losers? A club that bears a striking resemblance to Music Unlimited? Lopez prefers to think the change of heart occurs when his classmates see how good his show choir is. Still, he says “Glee’’ has made a huge difference in his life. The series “brought more of my personality out,’’ said Lopez, who had never danced before. “I used to be really shy. I used to have stage fright. I used to be scared, a lot. Now I’m not scared of going up on stage anymore.’’
“Glee,’’ which just returned after a four-month hiatus, has struck a chord among high school choral students. It has emboldened students who are tired of being seen as dorky, and bolstered music programs across the country, with students lobbying for show choirs at their own schools.
The National Association for Music Education recently polled choral teachers to see whether the Fox show has had an impact on their music programs: 43 percent said it had, reporting that students had been turning out in record numbers for auditions and pleading for choral arrangements of songs from the show.
Here's further inspiration, from the other coast: the Sound Express show choir from Carlsbad High School in California, preparing for a competition in Burbank earlier this year (there's a nice a cappella moment about 4 minutes in: